Main News Customs law: company must provide the customs administration with personal data of the managers

Customs law: company must provide the customs administration with personal data of the managers

The Düsseldorf Finance Court has issued a ruling on the query of personal data for the revaluation of customs authorisations and decided that the customs administration may query the personal tax identification number as well as the tax office of the head of the customs department responsible for personal taxation at the company concerned.

With the entry into force of the Union Customs Code on 01.05.2016, the requirements for customs authorisations have been adapted. The Customs Administration will carry out a revaluation for all permanent authorisations issued before 01.05.2016. This involves checking whether the authorisations granted comply with the authorisation criteria of the Union Customs Code. The plaintiff is the holder of customs licenses. In April 2017, the respondent’s main customs office sent the applicant the questionnaire on self-assessment Part I for revaluation purposes. The applicant was requested to disclose personal data of its employees and members of its Supervisory Board. Among other things, the personal tax identification numbers and the tax offices responsible for the personal taxation of these persons should be disclosed. The defendant pointed out that if his questions were not answered, he would revoke the customs authorisations. By its action, the plaintiff sought a declaration that it was not obliged to answer the questions asked.
The FG Düsseldorf had obtained a preliminary ruling from the ECJ (judgment of 16.01.2019 – C-496/17).

The FG Düsseldorf upheld the action in large parts.

The plaintiff was unsuccessful in defending itself against the disclosure of the personal data of the head of its customs department.

In the opinion of the fiscal court, these data must be disclosed to the customs administration. The customs authority may not collect any sensitive information about the personal situation of the person concerned – such as his marital status, religious affiliation or income. In addition, the customs administration must inform the data subject of the collection of personal data.

However, the members of advisory boards and supervisory boards, managing directors, heads of departments, in so far as they are not responsible for the applicant’s customs affairs, heads of bookkeeping and customs officials, are not subject to the applicant’s duty of disclosure. To the extent that the inquiry of the customs authority concerns these persons, the plaintiff does not have to provide any information.

The decision is final.

Source: Press release of the FG Düsseldorf v. 10.05.2019



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